Music Theory, History, Composition

Timothy A. Johnson, Professor and Chairperson

Majors

  • Music Theory Major — B.M. - Music theory majors must have a minimum of 3.3 GPA in Aural Skills I-IV (MUTH 13300 or 13301, 13400 or 13401, 23300 or 23301 and 23400 or 23401) and a minimum of 3.3 GPA in Music Theory I-III (MUTH 12200 or 12201, 22100 or 22101, and 22200 or 22201) in order to remain in the degree program. Music theory majors must maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA in Music theory courses required for the major and meet the jury requirements of the performance instrument area.  Questions pertaining to the degree should be addressed to the chair of the department.
  • Composition Major — B.M. -  Students wishing to major in composition must submit at least two representative scores of their compositions and, if possible, a recording of these works. In addition, prospective majors must have an interview with a member of the composition faculty, during which they may take the opportunity to demonstrate their keyboard skills. 

    All composition students study piano; however, all prospective composition majors are given the option to audition on another instrument or voice in order to be eligible for additional study with the faculty in this secondary area. A successful audition guarantees the student two full years of study in the secondary performance area. Additional study beyond the first four semesters is possible, depending on student performance, faculty studio availability, and a performance study fee for additional credits. (This secondary performance area audition is not a requirement for entrance into the composition program; it is simply provided for those students who are already advanced performers and who wish to continue serious and rigorous study on their instrument or voice.) Pianists may also avail themselves of this opportunity and would receive an additional year of piano performance study during their course of study. 

    ​All undergraduate composition majors must take a piano proficiency examination by the end of their junior year. Graduate students must take the exam during the first year of study. The exam should be scheduled by the student with the composition faculty. The exam is pass/fail. A failure will require the student to retake the exam. The exam may be taken a maximum of three times. Failure to pass the exam will cause the student to be dropped from the composition program.​
     
  • Unprepared portion: Sight-read in a reasonable tempo and with consistent rhythm a Bach four-part chorale; accompany in any style a given melody; improvise, utilizing various piano textures, a convincing short composition of approximately two minutes’ duration; extract and perform the basic harmonic/chordal movement from a portion of a classic period orchestral score.
  • Prepared portion: Perform any Bach two- or three-part invention; perform any Debussy prelude.

Concentrations

MUTH 10100-10101 Fundamentals of Music Theory (LA)

Study of rhythm and meter, pitch, intervals, tonality, scales, key signatures and relationships, triads, notation, and terms and symbols. (F-B)
Attributes: FA
1 Credit

MUTH 10200 Freshman Music Theory Seminar (LA)

Changing topics in introductory music theory and analysis for first-year music majors with some prior knowledge of music theory. Prerequisites: first-year music majors. (F-B)
1 Credit

MUTH 12100 Introduction to Musical Styles (LA)

Students will develop the ability to understand music in many historical and cultural contexts, and will develop and advance their basic music literacy, especially a working knowledge of the elements of musical design. In addition, students will develop critical listening skills and an awareness of chronology and will learn a variety of music literature. (F-S)
Attributes: 3B, FA, H
2 Credits

MUTH 12200 Music Theory I (LA)

Study of two-voice contrapuntal frameworks, triads and seventh chords and their inversions, nonchord tones, and tonal structure involving diatonic harmony. Written application of all subject material, demonstrating the principles of good voice leading. Keyboard and vocal demonstration of harmonic concepts. Harmonic and structural analysis of selected works. Aural recognition of chord sonority types, harmonic progressions, cadences, and textures. Prerequisites: MUTH 10100 or successful results from the placement exam. (F-S)
Attributes: FA
2 Credits

MUTH 12201 Music Theory I -- Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 12200. Prerequisites: Placement testing. (S)
Attributes: FA
2 Credits

MUTH 13300 Aural Skills I (LA)

Development of musical skills through singing prepared and unprepared material, melodic and rhythmic dictation, and vocal/keyboard exercises. Uses moveable "do" solfeggio syllables in the major and minor modes, in treble, alto, and bass clefs. Rhythmic material in simple, compound, and changing meters, including first and second divisions of the beat, fundamental rhythm patterns, and complementary rhythm. (F-S)
Attributes: FA
1.5 Credits

MUTH 13301 Aural Skills I - Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 13300. Registration is based on placement testing. (F)
Attributes: FA
1.5 Credits

MUTH 13400 Aural Skills II (LA)

Continued development of basic musical skills learned in MUTH 13300 or MUTH 13301. Additional work with minor mode. Introduction of chromatic passing and neighbor tones, tonicization of the relative major and the dominant, tenor clef, and changing clefs. Presentation of anacrusic phrasing, syncopation, and changing meter. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 13300 or MUTH 13301. (F-S)
Attributes: FA
1.5 Credits

MUTH 13401 Aural Skills II - Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 13400. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 13301 or excellent achievement in MUTH 13300 and departmental approval. (S)
Attributes: FA
1.5 Credits

MUTH 14100-14200 First-Year Composition (NLA)

Practical study of the techniques necessary for coherent expression in a creative work. Students examine established works and are assigned original musical excerpts and original compositions, exploring aspects of formal structure and style. Three class meetings per week. Open to first-year composition majors or by permission of the instructor. (F)
3 Credits

MUTH 22100 Music Theory II (LA)

Continued study of diatonic harmony. Study of period design and other small musical formal structures, harmonic sequences, applied chords, and tonicization and modulation. Written application of all subject material, demonstrating the principles of good voice leading. Keyboard and vocal demonstration of harmonic concepts. Harmonic and structural analysis of selected works. Aural recognition of sonority types, harmonic progressions, textures, and form. Prerequisites: MUTH 12200 or MUTH 12201. (F-S)
2 Credits

MUTH 22101 Music Theory II -- Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 22100. Prerequisite: MUTH 12201 or excellent achievement in MUTH 12200 and departmental approval. (F)
2 Credits

MUTH 22200 Music Theory III (LA)

Study of the mode mixture, chromatic tonicization and modulation, the Neapolitan sixth chord, augmented sixth chords, extended tertian chords, and more advanced harmonic topics. Written application of all subject material, demonstrating the principles of good voice leading. Keyboard and vocal demonstration of harmonic concepts. Harmonic, structural, and aural analysis of selected works in binary and ternary form. Aural recognition of sonority types, harmonic progressions, textures, and form. Prerequisites: MUTH 22100 or MUTH 22101; MUTH 12100. (F-S)
2 Credits

MUTH 22201 Music Theory III -- Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 22200. Prerequisite: MUTH 22101 or excellent achievement in MUTH 22100 and departmental approval. (S)
2 Credits

MUTH 23300 Aural Skills III (LA)

Development of advanced musical skills, building on skills from MUTH 13400 or MUTH 13401. Assigned work with vocal/keyboard exercises leading to the skill level necessary to perform a simple art song. Continued exploration of chromaticism through secondary dominant chords, and modulation. Rhythmic materials include irregular division of the beat, asymmetrical meters, and changing meters. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 13400 or MUTH 13401. (F-S)
1 Credit

MUTH 23301 Aural Skills III - Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 23300. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 13401 or excellent achievement in MUTH 13400 and departmental approval. (F)
1 Credit

MUTH 23400 Aural Skills IV (LA)

Continued development of advanced musical skills learned in MUTH 23300 or MUTH 23301. Presentation of transient modulations, and modal melodies. Introduction to 20th-century music through impressionist, post-tonal and atonal melodies, trichord patterns, and complex rhythmic and metric combinations. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 23300 or MUTH 23301. (F-S)
1 Credit

MUTH 23401 Aural Skills IV - Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 23400. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or above in MUTH 23301 or excellent achievement in MUTH 23300 and departmental approval. (S)
1 Credit

MUTH 24100-24200 Composition (NLA)

Study and application of the techniques necessary for coherent expression in creative musical work. Students are assigned original compositions to explore motivic, harmonic, and formal design, as well as style, idiom, and orchestration, in order to create effective and meaningful works. Registration is based on previous written work and the permission of the instructor. Private tutorial instruction and one class meeting per week. (F-S)
3 Credits

MUTH 24400 Composing in the Schools (NLA)

Composing in the Schools is a collaborative program between the Ithaca College composition department, and local and regional-area schools. The IC composition student receives hands-on experience working with children in a creative capacity by co-creating a musical work with and for K-12 children. Instrumentation varies from band and string ensembles to vocal groups. The IC student attends rehearsals and the premiere performance of the work and speaks. The student also speaks to the audience prior to the performance. The partnership provides real-life experiences for the IC student while providing a valuable service to the greater Ithaca community. Prerequisite: MUTH 14200 or comparable composition ability with permission of instructor. (F)
1 Credit

MUTH 25500 History and Literature of Music I (LA)

Survey of music from the early Christian era to the mid-18th century, focusing on origins and evolution of musical styles, forms, and genres. Social and cultural contexts are examined in relation to musical materials and their application within specific repertoires. Prerequisites: Any MUTH course. (F)
Attributes: 3B, G, H, HU
3 Credits

MUTH 25600 History and Literature of Music II (LA)

Survey of music from the mid-18th century to the late 19th century, focusing on distinctive features of musical styles, forms, and genres. Social and cultural contexts are examined in relation to musical materials and their application within specific repertoires. Prerequisites: MUTH 25500; WRTG 10600 or ICSM 10800 or ICSM 11800. (S)
Attributes: 1, 3B, G, H, HU, WI
3 Credits

MUTH 32100 Form and Analysis (LA)

Examination of the traditional techniques of musical form and structure and their application to compositions primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries. Prerequisites: MUTH 22200 or MUTH 22201. (F)
2 Credits

MUTH 32101 Form and Analysis -- Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material covered in MUTH 32100. Prerequisite: MUTH 22201 or excellent achievement in MUTH 22200 and departmental approval. (F)
2 Credits

MUTH 32200 Analysis of Music since 1900 (LA)

Study of harmonic, rhythmic, melodic, and formal techniques from about 1900 to the present. Introduction of various analytical systems. Prerequisites: MUTH 22200 or MUTH 22201. (S)
2 Credits

MUTH 32201 Analysis of Music since 1900 - Honors (LA)

A more in-depth study of the material pertaining to the harmonic, rhythmic, melodic, and formal techniques from about 1900 to the present covered in MUTH 32200. Prerequisite: MUTH 32101. (S)
2 Credits

MUTH 34100-34200 Composition (NLA)

Study and application of the techniques necessary for coherent expression in creative musical work. Students are assigned original compositions to explore motivic, harmonic, and formal design, as well as style, idiom, and orchestration, in order to create effective and meaningful works. Registration is based on previous written work and the permission of the instructor. Private tutorial instruction and one class meeting per week. (F-S)
3 Credits

MUTH 35500 History and Literature of Music III (LA)

Survey of music from about 1900 to the present, focusing on transformations of traditional musical idioms as well as newly developed styles. Social and cultural contexts, including politics, censorship, and economic factors, are examined in relation to musical materials and their application within specific repertoires. Prerequisites: MUTH 25600. (F)
Attributes: 3B, G, H, HU
3 Credits

MUTH 36000 Figured Bass and Score Reading (LA)

A practical course in the realization of figured bass and Roman numeral progressions at the keyboard. Open score reading of string quartet and other instrumental and vocal literature. Prerequisites: MUTH 22200 or MUTH 22201. (S,E)
1 Credit

MUTH 42100 Topics in Music Theory and Analysis (LA)

Changing topics in music theory and analysis. Prerequisites: MUTH 32200 or MUTH 32201. (Y)
2 Credits

MUTH 42900 Advanced Aural Skills (LA)

Extends aural skills developed in lower-level courses in the sight-singing, music theory, and music history core, including emphases on formal analysis and music since 1900. Prerequisites: MUTH 23400 or MUTH 23401; MUTH 32100 or MUTH 32101; MUTH 35500; and prior or concurrent registration in MUTH 32200 or MUTH 32201. (S-B,E)
1 Credit

MUTH 43100 Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint (LA)

Study of polyphonic techniques based on the stylistic principles of the 16th-century sacred literature. Composition of canons, motets, and movements from the mass. Prerequisites: MUTH 25500; MUTH23300 or MUTH23301. Corequisites: MUTH 32100 or MUTH 32101. (F-B,O)
2 Credits

MUTH 43200 Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint (LA)

Study of polyphonic techniques based on the stylistic principles of the 18th-century keyboard literature. Invention (two- and three-voice), chorale prelude, canon, and fugue are studied. Analysis and written projects. Prerequisites: MUTH 32100 or MUTH 32101. (S,E)
2 Credits

MUTH 43500 Choral Arranging (LA)

Arranging for elementary through high school choruses and special choirs. Analysis and study of choral part-writing, encompassing unison, simple two-, three-, and four-part, and multi-voice units. Prerequisites: MUTH 22200 or MUTH 22201. (Y)
2 Credits

MUTH 43700 Orchestration (LA)

Study of orchestral and band instruments in terms of range, transposition, and individual characteristics. Scoring of works for both standardized and less common ensembles of various sizes. Performance of works in class whenever possible. Prerequisites: MUTH 32200 or MUTH 32201. (F-S)
2 Credits

MUTH 44100-44200 Composition (NLA)

Study and application of the techniques necessary for coherent expression in creative musical work. Students are assigned original compositions to explore motivic, harmonic, and formal design, as well as style, idiom, and orchestration, in order to create effective and meaningful works. Registration is based on previous written work and the permission of the instructor. Private tutorial instruction and one class meeting per week. (F-S)
3 Credits

MUTH 44300 Pedagogy of Music Theory (NLA)

A survey of the pedagogical aspects of teaching music theory and aural skills on the high school and college levels. Focus on current approaches, presentation, and implementation of materials suitable for the study of theory, harmony, and aural skills. Prerequisites: MUTH 32100 or MUTH 32101. (S, O)
3 Credits

MUTH 45100 Instrumental Chamber Music Literature (LA)

A historical survey of instrumental chamber music from the Renaissance to the present. Prerequisites: MUTH 35500. (S)
3 Credits

MUTH 45200 The History and Literature of the Art Song (LA)

A broad historical survey of the secular art song from the Middle Ages to the present, with greatest emphasis placed on the German, French, Italian, and English song repertory of the 18th and 19th centuries. Prerequisites: MUTH 35500. (IRR)
Attributes: GERM
3 Credits

MUTH 45700 History and Literature of Opera (LA)

Traces the history, development, and repertory of opera from the beginning of the Baroque period to the present. The primary focus of the course, however, is on the standard performing repertory from Handel through Britten. Live performance in class and video excerpts of great performances provide stimuli for class discussion. Prerequisites: MUTH 35500. (F, B)
Attributes: FA
3 Credits

MUTH 45800 The Symphony (LA)

The study of orchestral music, tracing its development from the baroque era to the present. Representative examples of the concerto and symphonic poem are included. Prerequisites: MUTH 35500. (F)
3 Credits

MUTH 46400 Introduction to Composition (LA)

The study and practice of compositional procedures used in traditional and contemporary concert music, leading to composing brief works for solo instruments and small chamber ensembles. Prerequisites: MUTH 22200 or MUTH 22201; MUTH 23400 or MUTH 23401; MUTH 35500. (F)
2 Credits

MUTH 49100 Advanced Music Theory Seminar I (LA)

Introduction to Schenkerian notation and thought; discussion of interdisciplinary approaches to music theory and current trends in music theory, overview of discipline of music theory, exploration of relationships between liberal arts studies and studies in music theory. Prerequisites: MUTH 32200 or 32201. (F)
Attributes: CP, FA
1 Credit

MUTH 49200 Advanced Music Theory Seminar II (LA)

Current trends in music theory, overview of discipline of music theory, mathematically-based research in music theory, application of relationships between liberal arts studies and studies in music theory. Prerequisites: MUTH 49100 (S)
Attributes: CP, FA
1 Credit

MUTH 49800 Composition Recital (NLA)

Performance of representative compositions. The program should include approximately 45 minutes of music. (F-S)
Attributes: CP
2 Credits